Heart Health Basics for Women

Heart disease is a serious concern for men and women alike. But recent studies reveal that cardiovascular disease affects women's bodies differently. After decades of being overlooked in heart health research, women are finally getting some attention -- and rewriting the rules on cardiovascular health. See how heart disease develops in women, discover how heart attack symptoms can vary between sexes and learn how accurate diagnostic tests really are.
Women's bodies react differently to heart disease.
couple on bike ride

Heart disease isn't something only men have to worry about. In fact, it kills 1 out of every 2.6 American women, making it the No. 1 cause of death for both sexes nationwide, according to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign.

Studies reveal that women's unique chemical makeup combined with anatomical differences (such as smaller arteries and veins) affect how heart disease develops in women, how accurate diagnostic tests are, and how well women respond to certain medications.

See where men and women split when it comes to matters of the heart. The findings might surprise you -- and might even save your life.